The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has moved, via a department order, to play no more role in the system of approving suggested retail price regime covering basic commodities.
The prepared draft of the order provides that suggested retail pricing levels from the manufacturers will no longer require formal DTI approval, even though safety nets are in place for review, such as the need to submit the proposed retail prices one month prior to desired effectivity in order to afford DTI a measure of monitoring and system management.
The 30-day prior notice requirement, according to Trade Undersecretary Teodoro Pascua, “would generally give us enough time to do our own calculations, and do fishbone analysis if there are extraordinary movements that would require the manufacturing sector to explain or justify.”
According to Lilian Salonga, Officer in Charge of DTI’s Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB), this will be a policy that will “allow market forces to determine movement in supply and demand of commodities where players can compete with each other and have the freedom to seek reasonable profits.”
The final department order, said DTI, would undergo a public hearing process before implementation.
This latest move has prompted consumer groups to manifest their apprehension over the obvious erosion of their interest once DTI yields its control over the SRP scheme.
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